I am home from work today, because Robbie has a glaucoma check up. It is a "long" appointment as they will do visual scans and not just a pressure reading. His pressure was up a bit last time and thus the need for the long appointment. I am back at the ranch with the littles as it is hard to keep them contained in a medical environment for the more than 2 hours that such an appt typically takes. Concern for Rob's eyes is always at the back of our minds. We know little about his family medical history. We know that glaucoma is often genetic and particularly so when it is found in a child. It appears that there is a possibility that his father has some kind of eye problem but this is actually hear-say from the maternal side of the family. His diagnosis was several years ago and we were told by the specialist that it was to our great good fortune that our eye dr picked it up so quickly. He appears to not have lost peripheral vision at this point. I know too that glaucoma is more prevalent in african americans. Managing it is a life long issue. Presently he has eye drops twice daily to help reduce the ocular pressure. Failing to maintain the correct pressure within the eye leads to damage of the optic nerve ultimately narrowing the vision and then at the end leading to blindness. While there are many ways to help control glaucoma, there is no cure. Also the management tools often need to change through out the lifetime. For instance, we are presently on his second type of eye drops, the first was initially effective for a year or so and then the pressure rose again.
I hate being home while the testing is done. It means I rarely get to speak to the treating physician. I have met her; I do trust her. But I am also a control freak and would like to be there! On the other hand, I also hate city driving and Kirsty is much better at handling the early morning commuter traffic so she is much the better person to be in charge of this facet of our family life.
It is also always a delicate balancing act dealing with the glaucoma and Rob. I don't want him to live in constant fear of blindness. I do want him to be pro-active about his medication regimen. A large part of successfully managing glaucoma involves taking the medication as directed when it is supposed to be taken. Rob is notoriously forgetful which I hope is just a sign of being 12 and that he will eventually start to notice the time and remember what is supposed to happen when. There are small signs of improvement. One of Rob's jobs has been to feed the dog. The dog eats at 6 p.m. each night. Well for a long time it was between 6 and 7 or 7:30 depending on when Rob would remember. Now Blake eats pretty consistantly right around 6 so I have to believe that some day there will be the same level of responsibility where the eyes are concerned!